July 21, 2016 |
There were few things that Jerome Rodio, a retired Philadelphia police officer, loved more than fishing. On a dock last week on Chesapeake Bay, Rodio watched as an older man worked to bring up several crab traps. Rodio, 75, offered to help. A trap scratched the inside of Rodio's arm as he lifted it out of the shallow water. Three days later, Rodio, of Oxford, Chester County, was dead. "At one point he showed me the scratch and we laughed about it," said son Gene, who accompanied his father on a boat that morning to reel in perch.
May 28, 2016 |
A 49-year-old woman who came to a clinic in Pennsylvania with symptoms of a urinary tract infection is the first American found to have new and frightening antibiotic-resistant bacteria, Army researchers reported Thursday. While her particular kind of bacteria, a strain of E. coli, is treatable with some antibiotics, it is resistant to the antibiotic colistin, a drug sometimes used as a last resort for difficult-to-treat infections. What makes the bacteria scarier is their potential to spread colistin resistance to other types of bacteria that are already highly resistant to multiple drugs, infectious-disease experts said.
May 22, 2016
* Monday is World Turtle Day. Started in 2000 by American Tortoise Rescue, its purpose is to promote protection of turtles and tortoises. The hardtop reptiles have a reputation for being low-maintenance, but that is misleading. Red-eared sliders, for instance, are only a few inches long when most people get them, but will eventually require a 75-gallon aquarium. Reptile expert Frank Indiviglio says the best small turtles for people who can't shell out for large turtle or tortoise habitats are common musk turtles, Chinese big headed turtles, mud turtles and North American spotted turtles.
April 1, 2016 |
The Philadelphia Health Department in March asked dozens of restaurants and other eateries to "discontinue food operations" following less than glowing inspections. In previous months, a failing inspection would have earned a sterner-sounding order to cease-and-desist, a toothless demand that the restaurant was free to ignore. But following an agreement with the city's Department of Licenses and Inspections earlier this year, the health department is now reserving "cease-and-desist" for instances when the establishment refuses to close voluntarily.
February 28, 2016
'Vaginal seeding" - the practice of swabbing down babies born by Caesarean with vaginal bacteria - sounds good in practice: Studies have shown babies born by surgical methods have different microbiomes, or bacterial colonies living on and in their bodies, than those born "naturally. " And because it seems increasingly clear that certain microbes have a surprising influence on infant health and development, it's no surprise new parents want reassurance their kids haven't gotten the short end of the microbial stick.
November 12, 2015 |
A second Pennsylvania hospital has reported a cluster of unusual infections in patients who underwent open-heart surgery, prompting the state Department of Health to require immediate replacement of "heater-cooler" devices that have been linked to similar illnesses elsewhere. Penn State Hershey Medical Center said Tuesday that in the last four years, three open-heart surgery patients had become infected with nontuberculous mycobacteria - a common bug found in tap water and soil that rarely causes illness.
October 25, 2015 |
They're everywhere. Too small to be seen by the unaided eye and too numerous to count, they inhabit our insides and outsides, our guts and the surface of our skin. They are the bacteria, viruses, parasites, and other organisms that make up what scientists call our microbiome. It's a complex environment, and scientists are only just beginning to understand and appreciate its vitally important role in keeping us healthy and signaling when we are sick. This week, Penn Vet, Penn Medicine, and the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia will host their second annual microbiome symposium.
August 26, 2015 |
The bacteria that causes Legionnaires' disease were found in the hot-water systems of buildings at West Chester University last week, causing hot water to be shut off to nine buildings over the weekend until the systems were sanitized. It was the second time this summer that the bacteria have been found on the campus. On Monday - the first day of classes - the remediation company hired to handle the problem reported that the systems had been successfully sanitized, a university spokeswoman said.
May 10, 2015 |
Growing up in an orphanage in Haiti, Thomy Elusme brushed his teeth regularly and never got a cavity. Yet by his teenage years, a few teeth had started to become loose and one eventually fell out. After coming to New Jersey to live with a host family, the soft-spoken 20-year-old had to have a second one pulled. Elusme suffers from a condition all too familiar to periodontist Daniel H. Fine, who examined the young man last month at the Rutgers University School of Dental Medicine in Newark, N.J. For more than 30 years, Fine has been tackling the mystery of why, through no apparent fault of their own, up to 2 percent of black youths have loose teeth.
April 4, 2015 |
A nasty, antibiotic-resistant bug struck at least 243 people in the United States during the 10-month period ending in February, including six patients in Philadelphia and 12 elsewhere in Pennsylvania, federal and state health officials said Thursday. Though they rarely die, people infected with Shigella bacteria can suffer bloody diarrhea and intense abdominal pain for up to a week. The best defense is hand-washing, as the microbe is commonly spread when an infected person touches other people or prepares food for them, said Bennett Lorber, professor at the Temple University School of Medicine.